Persian beauty treatments are often passed down from mothers to daughters, and these are tried-and-true beauty techniques that deliver results. The Persians have beauty techniques for everything from hair dyeing to hair removal. Most of these techniques were developed centuries ago in ancient Persia, but they are still as popular as ever.
Henna Hair Dyeing
Henna is a plant used to dye hair when its leaves are ground into a fine powder. That powder is then mixed with lemon juice to create a paste to apply to the hair. Leave this paste on for 2 to 4 hours so the dye will set readily into each strand. For most people, 2 hours is enough time for the dye to set. If your hair is naturally resistant to dyes, leave the henna paste on for 4 hours. There are blond, brown, black and red henna dyes.
If you are unsure about mixing and applying the paste yourself, have it first done at a hair salon by a professional skilled in using henna dyes. Many Persian beauty salons specialize in dyeing hair with henna. The results will last until new hair growth overrides the dyed hair. Because it is a natural plant product, henna is safer to use on hair than chemical dyes.
Hair threading is the most popular and common hair removal system in the Middle East. In addition to being popular in Iran, it is also used in Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Iraq. A strand of sewing thread is tied at one end, then twisted in the middle several times, creating two loops. The twisted part in the center slides easily from one side to the other, catching loose hairs in the loops and yanking them out from the root. Threading is typically used on facial hair on the upper lip and on the eyebrows. However, it can be used anywhere on the body. Side effects include redness and itchiness. In rare cases, the hair follicle can become infected. It's best done by a professional.
Persian women love to play up their eyes, which are usually large, wide and luminous. A typical makeup look is to dust the lids with a fine gold, silver or copper eyeshadow and then line the entire rim in black. Some women like to add a slightly lifted tip at the end of the eye to elongate the shape. Heavy, dark lashes are also a major part of the look. You can use mascara to achieve this or attach individual false eyelashes at the base of the upper eyelid. Finally, apply a lighter colored eyeshadow (peach or beige) directly under the eyebrow to create the illusion of a higher arch.